Friday, April 11, 2014

P Chidambaram opposes bureaucrats’ second innings in politics, but why?

No Politics Please, We Are Babus!
AT A time when more and more retired IAS and IPS offers are contesting the current Lok Sabha elections, senior Congress leader and Union finance minister P Chidambaram has aired his views against such a trend, arguing that it may set a dangerous precedence. The seasoned lawyer-turned politician who has opted out of the fray in favour of his son Karti Chidambaram this time, said that the Constitution…
might not have barred any citizen from joining politics, but top retired civil and police officers should step aside from active politics because they had access to the country’s secrets. “Their entering electoral politics could be right according to law, but it will set a dangerous trend. We need to find a way out [to prevent them from joining politics],” the finance minister said while interacting with reporters on Wednesday.
In an apparent reference to former home secretary RK Singh, a 1975-batch retired IAS and the one who is contesting from Arrah constituency in Bihar on a BJP ticket, the Congress leader said a person who had served as home secretary would have known many secrets, which even ministers might not know those. Singh briefly worked under Chidambaram too when the latter was the home minister before moving to North Block.
Singh knew inside out of the UPA government but decided to join the BJP. Later, he publicly disclosed some secrets about his former boss and home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, creating a stir in the Congress. It was regarding police recruitment in Delhi which as Singh alleged was influenced by Shinde.
Chidambaram’s comments have come only a few days after former Tamil Nadu DGP and Chennai city police commissioner R Nataraj joining ruling AIADMK. Natraj is a 1975 batch IPS officer and had worked in various capacities in both the Centre and state governments. He was also the DGP in-charge of prisons and fire and rescue services.
Chidambaram also said the Research Analysis Wing (RAW) and intelligence chiefs would have known the country’s secrets and their joining politics would do no good for the country. Just ahead of the Lok Sabha poll, former RAW chief and 1972 batch IPS officer Sanjeev Tripathi joined the BJP. Tripathi is a batch-mate of first woman IPS officer and anti-graft activist Kiran Bedi.
Many experts however feel that retired bureaucrats with lots of experiences in administrative matter, are aware of problems and possible solutions. After all, their first innings as babus come handy all the time. Also, many of them don’t want to retire and go into the oblivion. They want to remain close to the people, and maybe closer to power corridors.
Also Read
List of IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS contestants in 2014 elections

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